Engaging with fathers
It is widely recognised that early positive involvement of fathers and male carers, and male friendly approaches can help improve their engagement. However, organisational cultures and systems can hinder their involvement and this has been highlighted in a number of serious case reviews – “Preconceived ideas about fathers as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ influences potentially whether they are involved in assessments regarding their children. This means that important information about risks may be lost” (Department for Education, 2016).
Fathers are important to children, and (like mothers) most present a combination of positive and negative factors. Research highlights the hugely constructive role fathers can play in a range of child and family outcomes. However, when in contact with practitioners, men say they feel overlooked both as a resource for their children and in terms of the difficulties they might be facing.